A brewing storm - Analysis - DNA It is that time of the year when millions of farmers in Mandya, Karnataka, and Tanjavur in Tamil Nadu offer special prayers to see mother Cauvery flow in full glory. But their fears of an adverse nature seems to be coming true yet again with Karnataka caught in severe drought and water not flowing to Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Courtâ€™s order to release 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu till September 20 has already triggered protests in Mandya and Mysore, with farmers threatening the Karnataka government against sacrificing the interests of its own farmers to placate Tamil Nadu. The situation could easily to out of control if political leadership fails to show maturity. The Cauvery River Authority (CRA) meeting, to be chaired by prime minister Manmohan Singh on September 19, will test the political acumen and statesmanship of Singh, and the chief minsters of two statesâ€”Jagadish Shettar and Jayalalithaa. Any decision with unfair tilt towards any state could invite trouble that could pose a serious problem for the spirit of federalism of the country. Singhâ€™s approach of silence and inaction could prove disastrous for the two states. The political brinkmanship in the past indulged in by leaders on both sides have left horrific memories of loss of innocent lives and sowing seeds of hatred between the people of two states. The fresh challenge has also provided the leadership a new opportunity to explore new methodologies to resolve the dispute, which has so far revolved around trying to get their respective share of water ignoring the needs the other. It is time the principles of efficient use of water, shifting to varieties of crops that consume lesser water, modernisation of canal systems and equitable sharing of distress during the lean seasons in ingrained in sharing of waters. Such a system could automatically irrigate more acres of land with the same quantum of water. Though an attempt was made in the past by involving the farmers of the two states in finding a solution for the water sharing issue, it is not a bad idea to work out a new mechanism where the farmers of the two states have a greater say in sharing of water during the distress season.